By Henry Ojelu
LAGOS—THE National Stadium, Surulere Lagos came alive, weekend, when the Egbe Omo Ilaje, the umbrella body of Ilaje’s worldwide held its median Ilaje national Day celebration.
The event attracted Ilaje sons and daughters from within the state and the nation, in which is aimed to unite and strengthen the Ilaje nation in order to reposition itself for social economic and political development.
The Ilaje, who thronged the venue of the programme, adored in their traditional attires, left no one in doubt that the once sleepy community in the in Lagos coastline and other coaster line in the Niger Delta are out to make themselves visible politically going forward and would no longer accept the onlookers status in the affairs of Nigeria.
Speaking to the crowd, that besieged the national stadium, an industrialist, who is the Chairman of Egbe Omo Ilaje Day celebration, Prince Tony Godday Erewa, charged the Ilaje nation to reinvent itself economically, politically and socially, in order to take its rightful place among the comity of nations, in Nigeria.
He noted that the Ilaje “were amongst the first three ethnic groups to settle in Lagos and the first to settle in the coastline and have contributed greatly to the social-economic development of Lagos State and Ilaje’s should be given what is due to them as a people.”
He, therefore, tasked the Lagos State government to engage Ilaje positively in the task of building all inclusive Lagos state, because Ilaje’s are very peaceful people.
The APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, who was represented by Dr. Tayo Omawumi noted the important role the Ilaje played in the stabilization of Lagos state.
He added that the contributions of the Ilaje nation to the development of Lagos cannot be over emphasized, “the Ilaje’s are highly rated in Lagos and that is why I have came to identity with them on this maiden Ilaje Day celebration in Lagos.”
Also speaking, the National President of Egbe Omo Ilaje, Prince Iwamitigha Irowainu said that Ilaje’s are not visitors in Lagos; therefore, they should not be marginalized and appealed to the state government to give to the Ilaje people what is due to them.
His Royal Majesty, Oba Ochichiomo Afolabi Oladimeji, Akokoniko, Ladrada 1, Olu Igbokoda, in his goodwill message reiterated the need for Ilaje’s to be peaceful and be united in order to attract government interest.